Friday, December 22, 2006

Nuts!

December 22, 1944 - Bastogne
Finally realizing that this was a major offensive, Eisenhower sent the Airborne divisions refitting after Market-Garden to take Bastogne and Saint-Vith. The 101st Airborne, whose defense of Bastogne would become legendary, arrived by truck just hours before the town was cut off and surrounded, supported by units of the 10th armored. “Visualize the hole in a doughnut,” the 101st radioed SHAEF Headquarters in Paris, “That’s us.” Bad weather grounded the Allied air forces and prevented resupply.
They were to hold the town with little supplies and few tanks or vehicles. A store of flour in a Belgian warehouse fed the 101st with flapjack pancakes. American GIs retreating from the German advance stopped and joined in the defense. Artillery was set up in the center of town to give the defenders support anywhere along the lines, and from their arrival on December 18th until the day after Christmas, the 101st beat back German attacks. During the battle, the German commander charged with taking the vital crossroads sent a long letter to General Anthony C. McAuliffe, calling for his surrender. McAuliffe’s one-word reply, “NUTS!” indicated the determination of the 101st to hang on.
"NUTS!" Revisited
An Interview with Lt. General Harry W. O. Kinnard
The German major then asked, "Is the reply negative or affirmative? If it is the latter I will negotiate further."
At this time the Germans were acting in an arrogant and patronizing manner and Harper, who was starting to lose his temper, responded, "The reply is decidedly not affirmative."

2 comments:

Mrs. Diva said...

Merry Christmas Maggie!! Make it a great one:)

BostonMaggie said...

Back at you, Mrs. Diva!